Masters in Business: Jack Schwager

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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In this week's "Masters in Business" podcast, I talk with Jack Schwager, the author of "Market Wizards: Interviews With Top Traders" and co-founder at FundSeeder. More than 25 years after the first book was published in 1989, the series remains one of the most widely read books on Wall Street trading desks.

In our interview, Schwager describes how he managed to convince numerous top traders and asset managers -- many of whom were notoriously press shy -- to have long, on-the-record conversations with him. He had begun his career as a research analyst at Reynolds Securities, taking over the desk that Michael Marcus was vacating. Marcus, who went on to gain Wall Street fame by turning $30,000 into $80 million by trading commodity futures, spoke with Schwager about his approach to trading. Others who had avoided the limelight soon followed, and a classic work of finance was born.

There are consistent themes found in Schwager's interviews: discipline, risk management and capital preservation, intellectual flexibility, personal responsibility and honest self-appraisal. William Eckhardt, who famously debated with Richard Dennis about whether trading could be taught, summed up many of these rules with the quote: “Amateurs go broke taking large losses, professionals go broke taking small profits.”

You can hear the full interview, including the podcast extras, by downloading the podcast here or streaming it at SoundCloud. Next week, we speak with Larry Swedroe, Buckingham Asset Management’s director of research.

(Corrects place of employment in second paragraph.)

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Barry L Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net